February 20, 2013

Review: Lucy Valentine to the Rescue

Truly, Madly
A Lucy Valentine Mystery, Bk 1
Heather Webber

Mass Market Paperback, St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780312946135

Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service.  But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it's Lucy's turn to step up and help out - in the name of love.  Plus her rent is due.
Her's the problem: Lucy doesn't have the knack for matchmaking.  According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read 'auras' and pair up perfect couples.  But not with Lucy.  Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects.  What good is that in the matchmaking world?  You'd be surprised.  In a city like Boston, everyone's looking for something.  So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring - on a dead body - she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime.  And who knows?  Maybe she'll find the perfect love while she's at it...

My thoughts....
Having bought the second book first, and loving it, I had to quickly find this at my old library.  I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed this book.  Lucy Valentine is a sweet, but slightly neurotic character - when you get to know her family can you blame her? - who finds herself thrown into the deep end of matchmaking when she caves in to her father's request to run the family business while her parents take a break.
A former trust fund babe, she lives on her grandmother's estate, with a pushy cat called Grendel.  On her first day in the office she gets a vision from a client that leads her on an Alice in Wonderland journey to find a killer - before they find her.  Add into the mix a quirky group of close-knit friends and family, a bitch of a client, a suspicious cop or two, and a pit-bull of a journalist and you have all the makings of a real page turner.  I did like the way that Ms. Webber was trying to limit the uses of Lucy's 'gift' and I laughted when Lucy met Sean.  However, it's when Lucy's at the matchmaking office, trying to make said matches, that I got a good giggle.  Swatches... ha!
Sean, our very hot P.I, is a refreshing change from the ever popular take charge, healthy as a horse, superman type of mate.  He's a man who's had to face his own mortality, and make lifestyle changes.  This was done in a realistic fashion with humor and sensitivity, and is not at all cliche.
Thoreau and Grendel are the little scene stealers of the group. Just too cute for words.
I enjoyed the first three books (reviews 2 and 3 pending) and will definitely try to get my hands on 4 and 5.  A great start to a quirky new series.

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